Sunday, October 15, 2023

Bear Mountain Appalachian Trail

Bear Mountain State Park
Rockland/Orange Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Appalachian Trail: Red blaze

Total Time: 2:25 hour
Estimated Distance: 4.7 Miles

Pros: Great climb, great views
Cons: Often very busy on weekends (but quiet this time), parking fee
Hike Type: Lollipop Loop
Level of Difficulty: Difficult

Google Maps of Parking:

The Appalachian Trail up Bear Mountain had been closed since the summer storms that flooded the park. I had made up with a friend to meet at the top of Bear Mountain and we'd hike down together. However, I found out that the trail was still closed despite it being several months since the flooding. The person at the toll booth who told me the trail was closed told me it's open for through traffic but not for local hiking. Since I was technically a through hiker needing to meet my friend, I proceeded on the hike. It was eerily empty considering what a popular trail this usually is.

I parked at the main parking area at Bear Mountain, at the inn, and then took the Appalachian Trail up the steps. There were several areas that needed some maintenance, but it was totally passable and not a problem. So not sure why the trails are still officially closed at this point. I continued passed the first view and the waterfalls, and then past the dead at the end of Perkins Drive. I then continued to the top at the tower, and took the Appalachian Trail to the north view. There was a big forest view at this area. I then continued along the Appalachian Trail to the southern view, and then down back to the old road, which I took back to the Appalachian Trail and then back down to my car.

Map of the Route

Hessian Lake

Appalachian Trail Climbing up the Mountain

Some of the Parts of the Trail that are Washed Out

Bear Mountain Bridge from Near the First View

First View, with the Hudson River, Iona Island, and Peekskill

More Trail Damage, Near the Waterfalls

Bear Mountain Waterfalls

View on the Appalachian Trail

Trails Closed Sign

View Ascending Towards the Summit

Bear Mountain Summit

Northern View and Forest Fire Area

South View

Back at the First View, with the Sun Out

Trails Closed Sign

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